The Sayville wrestling team is gearing up for one of the biggest weeks of the season, dueling two opponents ranked in the state's top 20 and finishing up over the weekend at the annual Union Endicott tournament, where they'll see most of the best teams New York has to offer.
Later today, they'll host perennial League V power Hauppauge at 4 p.m. at Sayville High School. The Eagles currently sit at 13 in the NYS rankings.
"They're the team to beat in the league," said head coach Gary Pesko. "I know they've got a couple injuries, but I think everybody does. It's a matter of who's healthy at the time and it's going to be a good match tomorrow."
Speaking of injuries, Sayville is looking to get healthy at just the right time, as they will welcome captain Steven Leshinger back to the lineup against Hauppauge.
Leshinger will return to the lineup after missing time with a number of ailments, but his presence strengthens the Golden Flashes lineup significantly.
"It's a big difference having your leader in the lineup for the guys to look up to," said Pesko. "There's a difference already in the room already. It's going to be a big change."
Friday, they will travel to face Kings Park, a team who has surprised many so far with some early season success. The Kingsmen are currently ranked 20th in the state.
"I don't know if anyone expected them to be as good as they are but they're the real deal," said Pesko. "It's going to be another barnburner for us. There's no off day in our league."
Saturday, the team will travel upstate to Endicott to participate in the NYS Dual Meet Championships featuring many of the top teams in New York. The Golden Flashes will be returning to the tournament, which invites only the top talent in the state, for the fifth consecutive season.
This year, 16 teams have been invited and divided into four pools, with the four top seeds spread across the pools. The rest of the pools are generated at random.
They have been placed in Group D along with St. Anthony's High School, Fulton, and Minisink Valley. The teams will wrestle on Saturday to determine seedings for later in the tournament.
"We got drawn into St. Anthony's pool, so that's a pretty good spot for us as far as I can see